As luck would have it, I had company errands at Mall of Asia on the first day of the opening — so close yet so far away! Thankfully I had a body double, and between the two of us we managed to rack up about eight UT shirts and a handful of bottoms — score!
The store opened at 10AM on the dot, but with people lining up as early as 4AM, it was inevitable that the line would snake out — eventually encompassing the entire length of Mall of Asia’s Main Atrium. Early birds were rewarded with free tote bags, as well as first dibs on the newly-minted and deeply-discounted merchandise. Who knew Uniqlo had this many Filipino fans?! >:DDDDDD
However, all is not fine in the land of UT. With the lines taking up to an hour to get through all day long — and this was just to get into the store, tempers soon flared as antsy shoppers queuing to get in warred with line-jumpers who tried to sweet-talk their way past security. Then, there was the complete and utter chaos amongst the shelves — this was not the store’s fault, as although the entire staff was out in force: they were simply not able to cope with the flea market antics of Filipino shoppers.
Last but not least was the crucial miscalculation that the purchasers made prior to the store’s opening — they overstocked on some lines (Lords of Liverpool and UT Collabo) and severely understocked in others (Metal Gear Solid and Evangelion). If I had to make a judgement call, I’d say the skewed voting results in their Facebook promo gave them an unclear picture of the demand — a crapload of people voted for the Beatles shirts but did not buy them, while the handful of MGS fans who voted in the poll ended up getting multiple designs if not multiple copies of the same shirt. C’est la vie :|
Long story short: it was awesome and loads of fun IF AND IT IS A GIANT IF you managed to score what you wanted. Otherwise, it would’ve been an exercise in frustration — that’s three hours of your life you can never get back, chasing after a t-shirt that had sold out in mere hours. Having said that, if UT is not your thing, and you were simply after affordable and high-quality basics that you could mix and match with your existing wardrobe, go! Introductory prices on most items last only until 21st June, so make sure you hit the store before then.